Patrick Watson @ The Centre

I have desperately wanted to see Patrick Watson in concert for years. I have been a fan since purchasing  Close to Paradise in 2007 but I have had no luck seeing him live until last night. I actually had tickets in hand for two of his previous stops in Vancouver but both times I had to give up the tickets (once because P arrived home from a month-long work trip in Vietnam the very night of the concert; again this past summer because I ended up going to Brazil). Well not this time! Luckily my high expectations were met.

I want Patrick Watson to come and personally sing me a lullaby every night. His voice is so ethereal – whenever I listen to his softer songs I imagine myself floating on a raft in the middle of the ocean in the dead of night, the waves gently rising and falling under me as I stare at the millions of stars above me. Although I suppose the prospect of being lost at sea on a raft may terrify some people, for some reason I find this image ultra calming. That’s where I was transported last night. To be sure, Patrick threw in a good number of his more loud and raucous songs, but the majority were acoustic or from his quieter repertoire. The guy has an incredible voice: he sings mostly in falsetto (at least I think it’s falsetto) and he rarely misses a note despite the fact that his songs are fairly complex and not at all easy melodies. This being my first time seeing Patrick in concert, I was not expecting him to be so goofy on stage! He alternated between laughing maniacally for no obvious reason to telling silly stories in a very odd, rapid way. Honestly I couldn’t tell what he was saying about half the time. What put this concert over the top for me was the creative energy he put into each of his songs. I don’t think any of them were done exactly the way they are on his albums. There were longer solos in some but others were done acoustically. Bird in a Cage was only Patrick and the piano and it was gorgeous. (He also invited the audience to sing along at one point, eventually asking us to “be crazy. Sing it like you have road rage. Like you’ve just been rear-ended by the guy behind you and you want to assassinate him.” This elicited a great audience response.) But the stand-out was Into Giants, which the 5-piece core band members performed around a single mic, with two guitars and violin. Magical. He did two encores and I still wanted more. I can’t wait to see him again!

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